The impact of community wildlife program on human-wildlife conflict resolution: a case study of ''predator consolation program'' for Nairobi National Park
Pantoren, Elizabeth P
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In Kenya and globally, Governments and Conservation NGOs have made various efforts to conserve wildlife species through community wildlife programs that provides benefits to local communities neighbouring protected areas. Studies have shown that 75% of Kenya's wildlife coexists with local people outside protected areas, implying that park and adjacent communities are a key partner in the country's efforts to save its wildlife and help local people benefit from it. This study was undertaken to establish the impact of community wildlife programs on human _ wildlife conflict resolution, taking the case of predator consolation program in areas adjacent to Nairobi National Park ecosystem. The 'Predator Consolation' program is a new and unique innovative initiative in Kenya implemented by Friends of Nairobi National Park an NGO affiliated to Kenya Wildlife Service and operating only in areas adjacent Nairobi National Park and Amboseli National Park. The program was started to address human-wildlife conflict created as result of increased livestock killing by park lions and other predators. The study had four objectives: (a) to identify the nature and causes of livestock predation in the study area; (b) to identify & analyze the coping mechanisms against wild animal damages; (c) to study the current features and impacts of the predator consolation program; (d) to establish the major challenges facing the predator consolation program in addressing human-wildlife conflict. The study was undertaken in Oloosirkon and Empakasi sub - location both in Kajiado and Machakos District Respectively. The study relied on both primary and secondary sources of data. Primary data was collected by interviewing 60 respondents and 12 key informants from the study area. Secondary Data was collected through desk review of relevant books, journals, new papers, reports and websites. From the study, it emerged that majority of the respondents 71 % did not recognize any impacts of introducing the predator consolation program while 16% agreed that the consolation program has some impacts and 2% of the respondents attest that the consolation scheme has reduce stress among the affected by helping farmers restock their livestock as well as developing positive outlook towards wildlife conservation. This study recommends that in resolving human-wildlife conflict the government agency responsible for wildlife conservation must take a proactive and responsive approach to remove problematic animals. The study further recommends that the predator consolation program can be improved if the government legally compensate for the livestock lost by farmers to wild animals to reduce human - wildlife conflict. It further calls for the Conservation NGO implementing the predator consolation program to increase the consolation fee to march the livestock market rates and address the issue of delayed payment. Finally, respondents suggested that the program would have a greater impact if the issue of governance is addressed.